Time is on our side! Or is it?

If we jump back in time we might hear Sir Mick Jagger singing: ‘Time is on my side’. Mr. Keith Richards would promptly reply: ‘Yes, it is!’. The fact of the matter is that they are pushing 70ish and still keep rocking, which gives us the impression that time is really on their side. Had they chosen the teaching career, I am not that sure they would be singing that enigmatic phrase, let alone the ‘yes, it is’.

It all sounds very easy when it comes to teachers managing their time. As an educator, I do not have much time myself, however, I was ‘listening’ to this interview on TV the other night which mentioned that educators have apparently been infected with the ‘hurry sickness’ virus. It looks as if time has become a scarce commodity and, there is even a theory that our day does not last 24 hours any longer. What a shame! If only we had more time for this and that. Anyway, this interview got more and more interesting by the second (minutes are absolutely valuable in the teaching world) and it went on to mention that we should manage our time more efficiently. It sounded pretty obvious to me. However, I would like to share a few points I jotted down during the interview and I might even a couple a try as I go teaching.

First and foremost, use your time wisely and plan ahead. Procrastinating will do you no good here. Seek for the shortcuts to facilitate your working life. Oftentimes you may hear fellow teachers complaining that planning lessons is somewhat boring. This is not new. On the other hand, you might want to have a blueprint to your lesson plans so that that you can have the spur of the moment additions and deletions.

Secondly, a stitch in time saves nine. Go through your working team and observe if any content, material, tests, you name it, can be reused. Why would you bother to prepare your material to be used only once? Again, make sure that it has durability and can be (re)used by either yourself or your team many times as possible.

By the same token, work on the rights and cut out the wrongs. That is a phase of good riddance. Weeping will come into the game, yet be strong and let it go off the things which you have found out, the hard way, is more like a disservice. Once you get to know what works fine with a particular group, I am sure you will be maximising your time and effort. Believe me – been there, done that.

Be prepared to say ‘Yes, sir!’. One can immediately refer themselves to Carrey’s film. It turns out that it is vitally important to know your limits. That is to say, at some point in the long run you will be working under pressure and picture yourself saying ‘no’ to what you might judge too much to do. A well-discussed ‘no’ with whoever your superior is, is by no means offensive. In the least bit, it will bring about some respect to your position if your arguments are clear cut.

Finally, follow The Glimmer Brothers’ idea of that ‘time is on your side’. The more you work, the more you need to release stress and give vent to your emotions. Tragically, some will find refuge at the bottom of a bottle. Others will take up some sort of sport or entertainment. As for me? Well, I have taken up music and I play rock with a band because as the Glimmer Brothers say: ‘It is only rock’n’roll but I like it’. In hindsight, maybe Jagger and Richards could be teachers. After all, I play rock’n’roll and I still have time to teach.

Adriano Zanetti

Adriano Zanetti – BA in Letras, Post-graduate in Language Teaching Methodologies, RSA Dip. DELTA. An educator for 30 years, an ELT consultant/teacher trainer at A2Z English Consultancy, a teacher/trainer/coordinator at FISK São João del Rei and Cambridge Assessment English Speaking Examiner. A Pronunciation SIG member responsible for Pronunciation courses for teachers/students. Presented several times in LABCI/ABCI conferences, Braz-Tesol Regional/National Chapters and different institutions in MG. a2zenglishconsult@gmail.com / dricozane@gmail.com

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